Written and published in 1777, the play The School for Scandal is considered to this date as the greatest comedy of manners.
Written by the Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the play became successful almost immediately and it is a perfect example of Restoration literature. The play presents comic situations and abounds in sexual references. Instead of portraying a pure society like in the Puritan literature, the play presents corrupt people, who like to gossip and who only look out for themselves.
The title of the play is suggestive as it foreshadows the general direction that the plot will take and the major theme. The whole play is a satirical portrayal of the British society of the 18th century and of the lengths someone is willing to go in order to get what he or she wants.
Some of the names that the characters have point out to their major "flaw" and it gives us a direct description of them.
The play has been adapted to film on numerous times, and it was first produced as a film in 1923 in a British silent film.